We love Funday Sunday, it’s the day when NSW public transport cap their prices on travel to anywhere in the state of NSW to $2.50 each. All you need is an opal card and you are on your way!
The other week we took the opportunity of combining our interest in hiking and the cheap Sunday public transport to tackle the 11km hike from Cowan Train station to Brooklyn train station called the Jerusalem Bay Track.This hike was to take us between 4 1/2 hours and 5 1/2 hours and is part of the Great North walk, a hike that runs from Sydney to Newcastle.
Accessing the trail is easy, on the eastern side of the Cowan train station you will find a well marked start of the trail. Surprisingly there was another two groups that disembarked the train at the same time as us, ready to set out along the trail. (the track seems very popular). The beginning of the trail crosses over the pacific highway before heading steeply over rocks, down into to lush under growth, before coming out an hour later to beautiful views of Jerusalem Bay. If you wanted to have a short hike, with a paddle in the water at the end, then this might be enough of the hike for you. You could hike down, have a picnic and a swim in the water before heading back! But we wanted to continue, so after a short break we left the look out area to tackle more of the hike.
The next part of the Hike was more challenging, straight up for about half hour no stop, before continuing to head up intermittently for another half. It was hard on our legs and its here that we realised that we were alive! This part would be challenging for younger kids, in fact we didn’t see any kids on the trail all day… definitely a sign of how difficult it is. Along the way on this section, there is small sections that you can catch your breath, but basically we just kept on plodding up and up till we got to a plateau.
Another break to look out along the valley, gave us some more beautiful views, and a chance to catch our breathe. We were also getting a bit banked up behind some other walking groups so it gave time for all of us to spread out a little, so we weren’t on each others tails. From this point the trail continued to go up a little bit more, with a part that required a small ladder to climb up and over a large rock face, before it flattened out again just before the sign in book. looking through the book we could see the variety of people who had tackled the track before us.
The trail continued before turning right and for the rest of the track ( another hour) it basically followed a fire trail, not the most exciting part of track even if it did have some water glimpses and a view over Brooklyn. It was welcome in the fact that I gave our legs a break of all the climbing over rocks and also allowed us to walk side by side. Before the track came to an end we approached Brooklyn dam, an oasis of water in the bush and a place to camp for travelers along the Great North walk.
At the conclusion of the track there was an almighty slope, a grooved cement path, that was again tough on the legs and a reminder that the track was a difficult one! We finished in four hours and 45mins and very proud of our achievement. We are keen to have a go at a few more of the tracks that from the Great North Walk… so keep tuned for more!
Where: From Cowan train station to Brooklyn Train Station, NSW, Australia. Check out the NSW National Parks Website for more details.
How much?: Only $2.50 return for the train, FREE for the track.
Need to know: This is a challenging and hard walk, bring plenty of water, food, hats and sunscreen, check out any alerts on the NSW National Parks Website before heading off, check that there isnt any track works via the State rail website before you head off.
Check out my YouTube on the hike by clicking here…
( sorry for the sound quality… I have no idea what went on there or how to fix it!)